I’ve always liked this place. My father built it for me as a lesson; giving me the idea of Amber without needing to be there. Perhaps it was a warning? He’ll never say, so I’ll never know for sure.

The world is full of magic, spells weaved into every aspect of society. It was a place to hone my own abilities, train, create new spells. It’s also a place to think, consider my options.

The planet itself is artificial. I’ve looked into its background and the original creators called it a ‘shield world’. On it’s outer surface is a prosperous biosphere, like any other habitable world. Deep within the planet, held together with metals the locals have never heard of or even considered could exist, is another habitable surface on the interior of the sphere. At its core, a tiny star to light and power the world.

The only life down here can’t think beyond its next meal or rest.

It also helps that there is a spire from which all the worlds magic emanates. It gives the brain cells a good buzz…well, it did until I walked the pattern.

Carved onto the tip of the spire is a pattern – the symbols of each school of magic combined into one. The Pattern of Amber really does cast itself into shadow, and this is a poor reflection of the real thing. Nothing like it in design, only in purpose.

Which gives thought to the main problem: the Pattern of Amber.

The spire is good for giving form to thoughts, part of the magic of the construct guild. As I think of the pattern I cast its image in the air around me. Not the actual pattern, to do so in here would not be healthy.

I can recognise its form, its lines. Convoluted and precise all at the same time. But, apparently, broken. A turn somewhere has forked due to what Brand had allegedly done to it. Spilled the blood of a Prince of Amber directly on its surface. From what I’ve heard, Martin’s blood.

If Fiona can be trusted, then in Brand’s mind he wanted to unmake the pattern, rebuild it in a image that he desires. Of course, Fiona is not the most trustworthy type so perhaps there was something else? Both Erica and Hagen have the original pattern. I suppose that Benedict does as well…one thought is that it was part of a long play. We draw our power from the pattern itself, if something is wrong with the version we are using, something different, perhaps that could have some long lasting affect?

Hagen doesn’t seem to have been affected, and I don’t know Benedict well enough to judge. But Erica? Hagan has been worried about her, he admitted as much. Perhaps there is some link between the pattern and whomever sits on the throne?

Everything there is circumstantial. Erica no doubt wants the pattern restored, but that’s not the only thing to consider.

Suhuy still has the sceptre, and at some point I should catch up on that. He’ll be deep within Weirmonken territory, far further than I’ve ever travelled. If I’m going to find him I’ll need to know what to expect. Two songs might help with that. One found Suhuy before, the other…Alma.

She’s been out further than anyone else from the court, save perhaps Deirdre from what I’ve heard. If nothing else, my curiosity is getting the best of me when it comes to travelling that far out.

It would also be good to speak to Alma again. The stay at the camp where I first met her was pleasant, probably the best night sleep I’ve had in a while. Her perspective on things was agreeable and…well, we’ll just see what happens.

Besides, Luce has admitted two things to me that I know are straight truths: he’s gunning for the throne, and will kill my father the first chance he gets. Having his mother on side will be…

…man, there are times when I’m really not a nice person.